Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Arguably the second oldest and most persistent Christian heresy is gnosticism (the first is legalism). Early forms of it were condemned in Colossians and possibly other Pauline letters, and also in 1 John. Gnosticism splits the “spiritual” world from the visible material world, saying that what really counts is not what we can see, but only what happens in the invisible realms. It seriously undermines God’s work in creation and especially in the Incarnation and Resurrection. It violates clear biblical teaching about the end times, the future state we call “heaven.”

Gnosticism is not Christianity.

Harold Camping says Judgment Day actually did happen last Saturday—-in a “spiritual” sense. Can his teachings still be called Christian? Some of them, yes. But his most public ones are infected with deadly error.

I don’t want to draw the Gnostic connection more closely than it deserves, but it comes to mind that Gnosticism tends to promote spiritual pride, and vice-versa. One wonders if some humility might have helped Camping admit he made a mistake.

Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before July 1.

First Things is a proudly reader-supported enterprise. The gifts of readers like you— often of $50, $100, or $250—make articles like the one you just read possible.

This Spring Campaign—one of our two annual reader giving drives—comes at a pivotal season for America and the church. With your support, many more people will turn to First Things for thoughtful religious perspectives on pressing issues of politics, culture, and public life.

All thanks to you. Will you answer the call?

Make My Gift

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.

Tags

Loading...

Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles